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This post, which answers a lot of questions, is as relevant here as it is elsewhere:|
Oh yes, the usual claim that such "coincidences" will save the day.
I can assure you that they won't.
btw, I bet you are the kind of school boy who copies other students' homework and claim them as his own, and when the teacher finds out, he merely shrugs and says, "Well, it's just a coincidence that our homework is so much alike."
Just like the U.S. is claiming today that the bombing of a Syrian governmen- troop camp during the consensual ceasefire, or killing and maiming dozens of Syrian government soldiers, is merely "an accident" and not a premeditated breach of faith.
How much believability or credibility here? None. Zilch.
Similarly, the heart of the matter of our discussion is not whether one text or another is an exact copy or just a closely-imitated version of it, but is in fact the HISTORICAL RECORD from Pope Eugenius IV's Florence. The popular pope, whose deeds were recorded in detail, did meet the Ming Chinese ambassadors in the year 1434. That is the irrefutable fact.
When you discuss such an important encounter, emucentral (coralbay), you need to grasp the essence of the message, and not to be easily misled or sidetracked by frivolous, anecdotal information.
The centrality of the message here is that the Chinese ambassadors transferred priceless Chinese know-how in many areas of arts and sciences without reservation to the pope in Florence.
You cannot then claim that the close temporal relationship between such a massive transfer of knowledge and the subsequent European Renaissance starting from Florence was a mere coincidence -- nothing ever starts from nothing.
Menzies never said it was unlikely that the high degree of similarity between the Chinese texts and those drawings by Leonardo da Vinci were mere coincidences. Had he indeed held such a counter-intuitive viewpoint, he wouldn't have bothered to undertake arduous preparations in collecting creditable material to write the two books in the first place.
No one, including Menzies, is saying that EVERYTHING in da Vinci's drawings of machines was copied from the Chinese, but the preponderance of evidence does point to the fact that the Chinese transfer of knowledge to Florence in 1434 was crucial or instrumental in IGNITING the Renaissance.
Let me give you an example for I understand why numskulls simply don't have the mental capacity to understand rudimentary facts in our world.
The first Personal Computer (PC) was manufactured by IBM. No other company which came AFTER IBM could claim that it made the first Personal Computer. If an engineer from IBM, upon enticement of a much higher wage from another company (call it B), switches over to work for Company B, his new employer cannot just put in a new brand name and say that it has invented the first PC.
So the very essence of the whole encounter in 1434 was whether Pope Eugenius IV did meet with the Chinese ambassadors sent by the Ming Court, and whether a large amount of Chinese know-how was indeed transferred over to the pope in the form of Chinese texts.
The answer to this crucial question is YES, and there you have it.
You as the new Don Quixote apparently aren't making any headway with these attempts to get away from the essence of the matter, and the reason is simple -- your empty cannons of rhetoric and aimless charges against the windmill are ineffective under any circumstances.
Many of the Chinese texts still exist today, and that's why anyone who thinks there is no evidence is fooling only himself -- there's plenty of evidence and Menzies has roomfuls of them.
Europe was nothing compared to China at the time of the Ming Dynasty in terms of cultural achievement, political and social organization, aggregate strength, technological know-how, civilizational resplendence, literacy levels, and religious freedom. As a corollary of the above statement, simply understand that each of the treasure ships (Bao zwan) under Zheng He measured seven to eleven times as big as Columbus' flagship.
The ascendancy of the so-called White Man is in fact limited to the five hundred years starting from the Age of Discovery. Before that time Europeans were suffocating under the yoke of Medieval Christendom. The Renaissance, the Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution pushed Europe to the forefront in the subsequent centuries, and since the Europeans never understood the origin of their meteoric rise in their role as upstarts on the world scene, they became very cocky and ascribed their ascendancy to racial superiority, which has since been disproved by advances in molecular biology, archeology and anthropology.
I just happen to have studied all three fields and I can tell you without any reservation that the White Man's sense of superiority is laughably misplaced and is due to his complete ignorance of what had transpired BEFORE the Age of Discovery.
The so-called Age of Discovery is itself a misnomer, because Columbus didn't discover anything truly new to the world. He actually believed at first that he had reached India. There were millions of Asians living in the Americas at the time he reached the West Indies. These folks had come over from Northeast Asia through Beringea -- a landbridge covering present-day Bering Strait more than 11,000 years ago.
So it was due to ignorance that Europeans committed the error of self-aggrandizement, and they are now reaping the whirlwind of the New Historical Blowback by having to welcome unwanted immigration, which was the real cause of the Brexit vote -- or else they wouldn't have congregated in Hangzhou recently at the G20 Summit to seek the widely-acclaimed wisdom of China for innovative leadership in ameliorating the global economic crisi..
Under such circumstances, only a fool will try to resist the everlasting momentum of this historical megatrend by floating chaff in this forum in the hope that it could be appraised anew as the kernel.